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See more popular or the latest prezis. Constrain to simple back and forward steps. Copy code to clipboard. Add a personal note: Houston, we have a problem! Send the link below via email or IM Copy. Present to your audience Start remote presentation. Do you really want to delete this prezi? Government is only an expedient — a means of attaining an end. It exists because the people have chosen it to execute their will, but it is susceptible to misuse.
The Mexican War is an example of a few people using the government as their tool. Thoreau asserts that government as an institution hinders the accomplishment of the work for which it was created. It exists for the sole purpose of ensuring individual freedom. Denying an interest in abolishing government, he states that he simply wants a better government.
Majority rule is based on physical strength, not right and justice. Individual conscience should rule instead, and civil government should confine itself to those matters suited to decision by majority rule. He deplores the lack of judgment, moral sense, and conscience in the way men serve the state.
A man cannot bow unquestioningly to the state's authority without disregarding himself. Thoreau introduces the right of revolution, which all men recognize, and reflects on the American Revolution, the origins of which he finds less morally compelling than the issues at hand.
Having developed the image of the government as a machine that may or may not do enough good to counterbalance what evil it commits, he urges rebellion. The opponents of reform, he recognizes, are not faraway politicians but ordinary people who cooperate with the system.
Angry and in some cases, bitter at the government for injustice. Critical and mocking of people who claim they disagree with slavery but do nothing about it. Point out specific passages where you felt Thoreau was or was not particularly believable this gets at the ethos of the piece. Other examples of logos or pathos?
One device a writer can use to get a point across is metaphor. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.
How do you think Thoreau wanted his readers to react to the essay? What did he want them to feel? How do you know? Why do they not dissolve it themselves—the union between themselves and the State—and refuse to pay their quota into its treasury? If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood.
Using the questions below, divide the essay into functional parts a part of text classified according to its function—for example, introduction, example, or counterargument.
Label the parts and be prepared to support your answers. If so, where does this section begin and end? Is there a part that explains any background information that the reader needs to know in order to be able to understand the answer to the central question or argument that the composition offers? Is there a part that examines possible objections to the answer, argument, or supporting material?
Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" Summary and Analysis Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Having spent one night in jail in July of for refusal to pay his poll tax in protest against slavery and the Mexican War, Thoreau lectured before the Concord Lyceum in January of on the subject "On the Relation of the Individual to the State.".
Civil Disobedience covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout. For purposes of clarity and readability, the essay has been divided into three sections here, though Thoreau himself made no such divisions.
Video: Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience: Summary and Analysis Henry David Thoreau wrote the essay Civil Disobedience to show his opposition to slavery and American imperialism. His essay has influenced many prominent civil rights activists, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Disobedience study guide contains a biography of Henry David Thoreau, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Civil Disobedience Civil disobedience is defined as the refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or government policy. It is characterized by the employment of nonviolent techniques such as boycotting, picketing, and nonpayment of taxes. Directions: Read “Civil Disobedience.” As you read, underline examples of Thoreau using rhetorical devices and identify and explain the devices via annotation. Answer questions to prepare for further work with a small group.